Thursday, November 9, 2017

Overview of Level Measurement Instrumentation for Chemical and Pharma Applications

stainless steel level transmitter
Nivelco manufactures a broad range of process
instruments for level measurement
Image courtesy Nivelco
Measurements of liquid or bulk solid levels within a tank or other vessel are an integral part of chemical processing. Each application presents its own set of measurement challenges, as well as practical considerations related to safety, environmental conditions, and life cycle cost.

Nivelco manufactures a broad range of instruments utilized for level measurement in industrial process applications. Technologies employed include contact and non-contact variants, along with switches and transmitters.

The brochure included below provides an overview of Nivelco products targeted for use in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Share your process measurement and automation challenges with application specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Distribution Quality Monitors for Water Systems

distribution on-line water quality monitoring instrumentation
Three versions of water distribution quality monitoring
instrument packages.
Image courtesy Swan Analytical Instruments
Water is an integral part of everyday life, as well as being a primary constituent of many manufactured products. The use and consumption of water brings with it a requirement for a minimum standard of quality for each application. In many instances, the standards of the local water authority or other municipal provider will suffice. When water is sourced outside of the municipal system, or further processing is used to polish the water supply to a higher standard, measurement of specific criteria is needed to assure that the water meets whatever requirements are in place for minimum production and quality standards.

Swan Analytical Instruments, globally recognized manufacturer of analytical instruments for water, integrates instrumentation for several water quality measurements into a packaged unit. Several variants are available, each with its own set of measurement targets tailored for differing application requirements. The Distribution Quality Monitors deliver a complete analytical package on a single frame, saving the customer from having to build up an entire analytical setup on their own. Every component is designed and installed to work perfectly with every other component, for a no hassle path to accomplishing necessary analytical work.

The online monitors can target chlorine, pH, conductivity, and turbidity. An electronics package provides alarms, limit switches, PID control, diagnostic alarms, and dual 4-20 mA outputs from each of three transmitters. The consolidated package embodies years of Swan experience to deliver reliable results with a minimized requirement for human attention.

For more information, share your water analysis requirements and challenges with the process measurement specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Applying Turbine Flow Meters With Clean Liquids and Gases

turbine flowmeter flow meter with flange connections
Turbine flow meter
Image courtesy Hoffer Flow Controls
A turbine flow meter provides a volumetric measurement of liquid or gas flow through the use of a vaned rotor (turbine) inserted in the fluid flow path. Fluid movement causes the turbine to rotate at an angular velocity proportional to the flow rate. A pickup senses the passage of the rotor vanes, producing a sine wave electrical signal output which is detected by the unit electronics. The frequency of the signal relates directly to the turbine rotation and fluid flow rate.

Generally, a turbine flow meter is applied to measure unidirectional flow. Some turbine flow meters, through the use of two pickups, have the capability to measure flow in both directions.

There are a number of considerations when selecting a turbine flow meter:
  • Material of construction: Numerous material options are available for the housing and internal parts. Proper selection considers media characteristics and cost.
  • Bearing selection: The combination of bearing type and material will likely be selected by the device manufacturer, based upon a comprehensive application information set.
  • Pickup selection: Several pickup options may be available, with the manufacturer making a recommendation that best suits the application parameters.
Here are a few other things to consider about applying turbine flow meters:

  • Turbine flow meters are precision instruments and will not tolerate debris well. An installation should include a strainer configured to trap debris that may damage the instrument or hinder its operation.
  • For longevity, it is advisable to size the flow meter to avoid extended operation near the upper end of its rotational range. Excessive rotational speeds can accelerate wear on bearings.
  • Lower rotor mass will provide more rapid response to changes in flow, allowing use of the device in applications with flow pulsations.
  • Maintain sufficient downstream pressure to prevent flashing or cavitation. This condition will cause the instrument to produce readings higher than the actual flow rate.
  • Sufficient straight pipe length should be installed at the inlet and outlet of the flow meter to provide flow conditioning necessary for accurate readings. In some cases, a flow staightener may be needed on the upstream side.
  • The output signal from the pickup may need amplification or other signal conditioning. Electrically noisy environments or long cable lengths may require special treatment.

Careful consideration of what is necessary for proper operation will pay off with reliable and accurate performance, low maintenance, and a long service life. Share your flow measurement challenges with product application experts, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Load Cell Application in Process Measurement

load cell industrial weighing module
Load cell incorporated into an industrial weighing module
Image courtesy of BLH Nobel
In industrial application of process measurement and control, principles of the physical sciences are combined with technology and engineering to create devices essential to modern high speed, high accuracy system operation. Years of research, development, and the forward march of humanity’s quest for scientific knowledge and understanding yields packaged devices for process measurement that are easily applied by system designer and operators.

Load cells are the key components applied to weighing component or processed materials in modern processing. Load cells are utilized throughout many industries related to process management, or just simple weighing operations. In application, a load cell can be adapted for measurement of items from the very small to the very large.

In essence, a load cell is a measurement tool which functions as a transducer, predictably converting force into a unit of measurable electrical output. While many types of load cells are available, the most popular cell in multiple industries is a strain gauge based cell. These strain gauge cells typically function with an accuracy range between 0.03% and 0.25%. Pneumatically based load cells are ideal for situations requiring intrinsic safety and optimal hygiene and, for locations without a power grid, there are even hydraulic load cells, which function without need for a power supply. These different types of load cells follow the same principle of operation: a force acts upon the cell (typically the weight of material or an object) which is then returned as a value. Processing the value yields an indication of weight in engineering units. For strain gauge cells, the principle of deformation applies, where extremely small amounts of deformation, directly related to the stress or strain being applied to the cell, are output as an electrical signal with value proportional to the load applied to the cell. The operating principle allows for development of devices delivering accurate, precise measurements of a wide range of industrial products. Advantages of load cells include their longevity, accuracy, and adaptability to many applications, all of which contribute to their usefulness in so many industries and applications.

A common place to find a strain gauge load cell in use is off a causeway on a major highway at a truck weigh station. Through innovation, load cells have been incorporated in an efficient measuring system able to weigh trucks passing through the station, without having each stop. Aircraft can be weighed on platform scales which utilize load cells, and even trains can be weighed by taking advantage of the robust and dependable nature of the transducers. Thanks to their widespread incorporation and the sequential evolution of technology, load cells are a fantastically useful tool in process measurement and control.

Share your process measurement challenges with application specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Magnetostrictive Liquid Level Transmitters

magnetostrictive level transmitters
Different configuration of magnetostrictive level transmitters
Image courtesy Nivelco
The numerous level control technologies, methods, and instruments all have an application range or niche where they provide a feature set and performance advantageous to other measurement means. The particular set of attributes that can push one instrument over the top in the selection process is specific to each user and application.

Magnetostrictive level transmitters provide a continuous signal indicating liquid level in a vessel. They should not be confused with what are called magnetic level gauges, an instrument that locally provides a visual indication of liquid level.

Magnetostrictive level measurement employs a precise measuring of the transit time for an electric pulse travelling on a wire extending down an enclosed tube oriented vertically in the subject media. A magnetized float on the exterior of the tube moves with the liquid surface. The float’s magnetic field interacts with a magnetic field produced along the wire to generate a return signal to the transmitter head. Processing the time from emission to return provides a measure of distance to the liquid surface.

These level transmitters offer good accuracy and ease of installation and maintenance. They are best applied with relatively clean fluids. Media that will impede the free movement of the float along the sensing tube should be avoided. Magnetostrictive level instruments are often employed alongside, or integrated with, a magnetic level gauge. The magnetic gauge provides a local indication of tank level, while the magnetostrictive transmitter delivers a level signal to monitoring and control equipment.

Share your level measurement requirements and challenges with a process measurement specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Friday, September 15, 2017

New Functional Safety Programmable Loop Display

SIL 3 capablefprogrammable functional safety loop display
SLD Functional Safety Programmable Loop Display
Image courtesy Moore Industries
Moore Industries has introduced a new Functional Safety Loop Display for industrial use. The PC programmable unit monitors and displays real time process status using one of several engineering units specified by the operator. The unit is certified by exida as a SIL 3 capable, non-interfering device for use in a safety loop.

The following excerpt from the Moore Industries blog tells more of the story...

"The SLD features an independently configured display with two rows of large characters that can be clearly read in the field and set to display any EGU, it is loop-powered by less than 2.3 Volts, and the Loop Maintenance Zener Diode Option allows removal from the loop for maintenance without interrupting your safety function. Additional features include RFI/EMI immunity, superior accuracy of ±0.012% of input scale, easy calibration, and superior reliability with up to 5 years between scheduled calibrations.

"The SLD Functional Safety Programmable Loop Display is DTM programmable. Using the Moore Industries’ optional USB communication cable, the SLD can be configured to display the signal how you want to see it using any FDT compliant host or program framework, such as free PACTware. You can even store the configuration you’ve created directly to your computer.

"The SLD is simple to setup with DTM software, allowing the SLD to be custom scaled to display information in percent or scaled directly into engineering units for indicating process measurements such as pressure, temperature, level, or flow. Use the free software to input custom and square root curves in one EGU and have the PC program convert it into a different EGU for display, or easily program span, zero, input range, display range, and filtering frequency. Select square root or linear curve from the library or quickly create a custom one for your use.

"When placed into one of our housings, the SLD has 360° flexible mounting allowing the SLD to be mounted at any angle in nearly any environment. The SLD is a non-interference device and can be taken out of the loop with the –LMD option (Loop Maintenance Diode) without affecting the integrity of the SIF loop. The SLD Functional Safety Programmable Loop Display is the perfect solution to accurately and reliably display process status in a safety loop."


More detail is provided in the datasheet included below. Share your process measurement, monitoring, and control challenges with application experts. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sanitary Pressure Transmitters

Pressure transmitter Yokogawa EJA530E
The EJA-E Series pressure transmitter features
Yokogawa's DPharp sensing technology
Image courtesy Yokogawa
Sanitary processes have their own sets of governmental and organizational requirements and standards, the goal of which are the delivery of safe products that are unadulterated by contamination. To that end, there are special performance and construction features required for the processing equipment, piping, facilities, and anything that comes in contact with the product or its constituents at almost any stage of production.

Pressure transmitters are a common fixture of fluid processes, sanitary or otherwise. The connection of a pressure transmitter to a sanitary system will generally be accomplished via one of several recognized sanitary connectors. The connectors facilitate the maintenance of sanitary conditions in the process vessel or piping by blocking contaminants from entering the system, establishing a leak free seal at the connection, and not being a source of contamination to the process. Transmitters for sanitary applications must also accommodate CIP and SIP operations where certain chemicals or steam may be introduced to the system for cleaning or reducing bioburden. Installation of the instrument should allow for complete drainage from the connection back into the main process line or tank, while also providing good access to the instrument head for observation, maintenance, or validation.

Yokogawa provides their EJA-E series of pressure transmitters with a range of connection options, including those for sanitary systems. The DPharp sensing technology provides top flight performance and a wide variety of configuration options meet the needs of almost every modern process measurement requirement. Communication options include Fieldbus, Profibus, and HART. The HART option allows the use of Yokogawa's HART Field Communicator which facilitates and streamlines many regular setup and maintenance tasks.

Share your process measurement challenges with instrumentation specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

E-Book on Combustion Efficiency From Yokogawa

high temperature industrial operation fired heater
Industrial operations employing combustion as a heat source
can benefit from available modern technology for
maximizing efficiency.
Yokogawa, globally recognized leader in a number of process control fields, has authored an e-book which provides useful insight into how operators of combustion based equipment and systems can improve efficiency and enhance safety by employing modern technology.

[All quoted passages in this article are from the Yokogawa e-book "Combustion & Fired Heater Optimization"]

The Yokogawa e-book Combustion & Fired Heater Optimization offers “an analytical approach to improving safe & efficient operations” related to the use of combustion & fired heaters in the process industries. Through presenting an overview of combustion sources, such as furnaces and fired heaters, the book states that while “fired heaters pose a series of problems from safety risks to poor energy efficiency,” those problems “represent an opportunity for improved safety, control, energy efficiency and environmental compliance.” Fired heaters “account for 37% of the U.S. manufacturing energy end use.” Tunable Diode Laser Spectrometer (TDLS) technology helps mitigate safety concerns by “measuring average gas concentrations across the high temperature radiant sections.”

The book states that the four main concerns applicable to fired heaters are asset sustainability, inefficient operations, the operator skillset, and safety and compliance. Outdated diagnostics and controls have placed unnecessary stress on operator response, making sustainability of fired heaters difficult. The emissions of fired heaters are generally higher than designed, and can be coupled with control schemes for firing rates little changed over the past 40 years. Operators, generally, lack a clear understanding of design, and even engineering principles of heat transfer are not typically included in education related to fired heaters. Confounding the situation further, “many natural draft heaters do not meet this [safety regulation] guideline with existing instrumentation and control systems.” These complications combine to form a noticeable problem Yokogawa’s technology hopes to address. The company notes how the fired heater relies on natural draft instead of forced air, meaning the heaters “typically lack the degree of automation applied to other process units in the plant.” Offering a full detail of both the control state of most fired heaters and their systems defines the process situation currently considered common in the field, while emphasizing high excess air as providing a “false sense of safety.”

The proposed TDLS system allows for the measurement of “both the upper and lower conditions in a fired heater” by “simultaneously controlling the fuel and air supply based on fast sample intervals.” Safer burner monitoring and heater efficiency results from the TDLS measurements of CO, CH4, and O2. The optimization of air flow control reduces “O2 concentration … from 6% to 2%” and increases the furnace’s thermal efficiency. Combustion control is achieved by managing fuel flow and the arch draft. The TDLS integrated system works in tandem with already established logic solver systems in the plant. The TDLS technology works as a non-contacting measurement with “full diagnostic capability” and offers “distinct advantages over single point in situ analyzers” via reduction of false readings. Specific gas measurements, fast response time, optical measurement technology, and “high and variable light obstruction” are featured components of the TDLS system highlighted to show the technology’s durability and flexibility. The longevity and reliability of the system is showcased by how the TDLS combustion management system has been operational in a major refinery since 2010. The percentage of excess O2 in sample fired heaters has decreased by 1% to 1.5%. Measurements by the TDLS system have been verified by other gas analyzers. The furnace conditions in the plant are more efficiently monitored and controlled. As a result, the furnace in the functional environment is “now near its optimum operating point, using minimum excess air.”
Yokogawa presents a process-related problem, then details the key points of the problem while unpacking the causes. The e-book introduces Yokogawa’s technology, explains the mechanics, and demonstrates how TDLS acts as a solution to the problem, supported by a tangible example. The book offers great insight for both the operational principles of fired heaters and a new technology designed to maximize efficiency in the control process.

The e-book is included below. More detail is available from product application specialists, with whom you should share your combustion and fired heater related challenges. Combining your own facilities and process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise will lead to effective solutions.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tunable Diode Laser Gas Analyzers Incorporated in CEMS

cabinetized extractable tunable diode laser emissions monitoring systems
TDL analyzers cabinetized in extractive
emissions monitoring system
Image courtesy CEMTEK Environmental
Tunable diode laser absorption spectrometers provide high sensitivity and specificity in the measurement of flue gas component concentration. They are well suited for continuous emissions monitoring systems used for EPA compliant or non-compliant applications. The rugged unit design and low maintenance requirement makes the TDL technology suitable for in situ monitoring of stack emissions.

TDL spectroscopy, packaged specifically for emissions monitoring applications, offers calibration stability and fast in situ measurement. It can also be applied in a manner that avoids interference from other gases present in the sample or stack. Industrial operations, whether for direct process control or emissions compliance monitoring, have a need for accurate, reliable measurement of specific gas concentrations within a flowing medium. Tunable diode laser spectroscopy, configured for industrial use, provides a number of substantially positive attributes for these applications.

More information is provided in the document included below. Share your combustion efficiency and emissions monitoring requirements and challenges with product application specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Industrial Wireless as Mainstream Connection Method For Process Measurement

industrial wireless modems
Industrial wireless modems, one of many options
when establishing wireless connections.
Image courtesy Eaton - ELPRO Technologies
Wireless connections to process instrumentation has evolved to a point where it is uncomplicated and inexpensive. Many facilities rely on wireless connections, either via a network (wifi) or point to point communications. The benefits of wireless are well known to those already among users of the technology.
  • Safety: Wireless connections can reduce personnel exposure to hazardous environments or situations that previously required human intervention or a manual gauge or instrument reading.
  • Easy Scale-up: Adding points on a network is generally a simple incremental process.
  • Operational Advantage: When deployed to replace manual instrument or gauge readings, real time data for diagnostics and efficiency measurements are now available. Information that is more accurate, timely, and consistent will produce better results.
  • Installation Savings: Installation of wireless connected assets has been reported to be up to 10 times less expensive than wired installation. The reduced space and planning for cables and conduit can make what were once complex and time consuming operations much quicker and easier.
  • Mobility: Wireless technology allows for real time connections to mobile platforms. Whether within a plant, on the road, or on the high seas, there are wireless products that can make the connection.
  • Distance: Don't just think WiFi, think radio, think satellite, think cellular. Connections can be established across very long distances using standard products from the industry.
  • Conversion of Legacy Devices: Many existing in-place devices can have their wired connections replaced with a wireless version. This accommodates a staged transition from wired to wireless in facility.
The transmission is accomplished in either the 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz band, delivering adequate range and power for most facility-wide applications. Obstructions can be overcome with the use of a strategically located repeater. Properly planned and configured, there are few limits to the distance a wireless connection can span.

Point to point wireless connections between, for example, a temperature transmitter and a recorder are easy to create. Most process sensors have very small power requirements, as do the Analynk transmission units. Power, if line voltage is not available at the location, can be provided by batteries, or combination of battery and photovoltaic. The 4-20 mA signal from the temperature transmitter serves as the input signal to the wireless transmitter. The analog signal is converted to a digital value and encrypted prior to transmission. A receiver at the recorder decrypts the digital signal and converts it back to a 4-20 mA analog output that serves as the input signal to the recorder. Wireless transmitter and receiver must be set to the same channel, but otherwise, the equipment handles all the work. If you can find your way around a smart phone, you can make a wireless point to point process connection.

There are likely many applications going unfulfilled because the cost or feasibility of making a wired connection is holding the project back. Reconsider the project using industrial wireless technology and you may find that the project becomes an attractive prospect.

Share your connectivity challenges with the application specialists at Arjay Automation, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their wireless communications expertise to develop an effective solution.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Turck Industrial Temperature Sensors



The Turck TS516 and TS530 temperature sensors are designed with permanently attached probes for direct insertion into a process via the 1/2" threaded fitting. The platinum measuring element provides fast and accurate temperature readings, with local processing and display provided by the encapsulated signal processor. Analog current output, as well as switch outputs are available, and the devices support the IO-Link communication standard.

Take a closer look in the video included here, and share your connectivity and process measurements requirements and challenges with application experts to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Diaphragm Seals Available in Every Conceivable Configuration

flush face flange diaphragm seal on smart transmitter
Diaphragm seals isolate instruments from process fluids
Image courtesy REO Temp
Pressure measurement is a common element of industrial operations and control systems. Fluid processing can often involve media that is potentially harmful to pressure sensing devices. The media may be corrosive to the sensor material, or other media properties may impact the performance or usable life of the instrument. In process control environments, diaphragm seals play a role in protecting items like pressure sensors from damage by process fluids. The diaphragm seal is a flexible membrane that seals across the connecting path to a sensor and isolates the sensor from the process media. System pressure crosses the barrier without inhibition, enabling accurate measurement, but the process fluid does not. Typical materials composing diaphragm seals are elastomers, with a wide variety of specific materials available to accommodate almost every application.

In the operating principle of the diaphragm seal, the sealed chamber created between the diaphragm and the instrument is filled with an appropriate fluid, allowing for the transfer of pressure from the process media to the protected sensor. The seals are attached to the process by threaded, open flange, sanitary, or other connections. Diaphragm seals are sometimes referred to as chemical seals or gauge guards. Stainless steel, Hastelloy, Monel, Inconel, and titanium are used in high pressure environments, and some materials are known to work better when paired with certain chemicals.

Sanitary processes, such as food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals, use diaphragm seals to prevent the accumulation of process fluid in pressure ports, a possible source of contamination. If such a buildup were to occur, such as milk invading and lodging in a port on a pressure gauge, the resulting contamination compromises the quality and purity of successive batches. Extremely pure process fluids, like ultra-pure water, could be contaminated by the metal surface of a process sensor. Some pneumatic systems rely on the elimination of even the smallest pressure fluctuations, and diaphragm seals prevent those by ensuring the separation of the process materials from the sensors.

Diaphragm seals are not without some application concerns, and devices are now built to address and counter many potential issues related to the use of diaphragm seals with process monitoring instruments and equipment. Products seek to eliminate any and all dead space, allow for continuous process flow, and are self-cleaning thanks to continuous flow design. Some high pressure seals come equipped with anti-clogging features, accomplished by the elimination of internal cavities while protecting gauges. Multi-purpose seals reduce temperature influence and improve instrument performance while pinpointing and diffusing areas of high stress. These pre-emptive measures result in longer instrument life-cycles and improved performance while ensuring protection from corrosion.

There are numerous options and available diaphragm seal variants. Share your application specifics with a product specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey Part 3

steam turbine
Silica can have an impact on the performance and longevity
of steam turbines
What we know as “water” can consist of many non-H2O components in addition to pure water. This three part series has touched on some of the constituents of water that are of interest to various industrial processors. The first installment reviewed dissolved oxygen and chloride. The second article covered sulfates, sodium, and ammonia.

To conclude the three part series on water quality analysis in process control related industrial applications we examine silica, another element which in sufficient quantities can become a confounding variable in water for industrial use. In natural settings, silica, or silicon dioxide, is a plentiful compound. Its presence in water provides a basis for some corrosion-inhibiting products, as well as conditioners and detergents. Problems arise, however, when high concentrates of silica complicate industrial processes which are not designed to accommodate elevated levels. Specifically, silica is capable of disrupting processes related to boilers and turbines. In environments involving high temperature, elevated pressure, or both, silica can form crystalline deposits on machinery surfaces. This inhibits the operation of turbines and also interferes with heat transfer. These deposits can result in many complications, ranging through process disruption, decreased efficiency, and resources being expended for repairs.

The silica content in water used in potentially affected processes needs to be sufficiently low in order to maintain rated function and performance. Silica analyzers provide continuous measurement and monitoring of silica levels. The analyzers detect and allow mitigation of silica in the initial stages of raw material acquisition or introduction to prevent undue disruption of the process. Additionally, a technique called power steam quality monitoring allows for the aforementioned turbine-specific inhibition – related to silica conglomerates reducing efficacy and physical movement – to be curtailed without much issue. The feedwater filtration couples with a low maintenance requirement, resulting in reduced downtime of analytic sequences and a bit of increased peace of mind for the technical operator.

While silica and the other compounds mentioned in this series are naturally occurring, the support systems in place to expertly control the quality of water is the most basic requirement for harvesting one of the earth’s most precious resources for use. As a matter of fact, the identification and control of compounds in water – both entering the industrial process and exiting the industrial process – demonstrates key tenets of process control fundamentals: precision, accuracy, durability, and technological excellence paired with ingenuity to create the best outcome not just one time, but each time.

Share your water monitoring and analytical challenges with specialists in process measurement. The combination of your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise will result in an effective solution.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey (Part 2)

aerial view of wastewater treatment plant
Effective treatment of wastewater requires analytical
measurement to determine the level of various contaminants.
It would be difficult to understate the role and importance of water in industrial processing, even our own biological existence. In the first installment of this series, the roles of dissolved oxygen and chlorides were covered.

Continuing the examination of water quality monitoring in municipal and industrial processes, another key variable which requires monitoring for industrial water use is sulfate. Sulfate is a combination of sulfur and oxygen, salts of sulfuric acid. Similarly to chlorides, they can impact water utilization processes due to their capability for corrosion. The power generation industry is particularly attuned to the role of sulfates in their steam cycle, as should be any boiler operator. Minerals can concentrate in steam drums and accelerate corrosion. Thanks to advancements in monitoring technology, instruments are available which monitor for both chlorides (covered in the previous installment in this series) and sulfates with minimal supervision needed by the operator, ensuring accurate detection of constituent levels outside of an acceptable range. Ionic separation technologies precisely appraise the amount of sulfate ions in the stream, allowing for continuous evaluation and for corrective action to be taken early-on, avoiding expensive repairs and downtime.

Another substance worthy of measurement and monitoring in process water is sodium. Pure water production equipment, specifically cation exchange units, can be performance monitored with an online sodium analyzer. Output from the cation bed containing sodium, an indication of deteriorating performance, can be diverted and the bed regenerated. Steam production and power generation operations also benefit from sodium monitoring in an effort to combat corrosion in turbines, steam tubes, and other components. Sodium analyzers are very sensitive, able to detect trace levels.

Ammonia is comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen and, while colorless, carries a distinct odor. Industries such as agriculture utilize ammonia for fertilizing purposes, and many other specializations, including food processing, chemical synthesis, and metal finishing, utilize ammonia for their procedural and product-oriented needs. An essential understanding of ammonia, however, includes the fact that the chemical is deadly to many forms of aquatic life. Removing ammonia from industrial wastewater is a processing burden of many industries due to the environmental toxicity.

Methods for removing ammonia from wastewater include a biological treatment method called ‘conventional activated sludge’, aeration, sequencing batch reactor, and ion exchange. Several methods exist for in-line or sample based measurement of ammonia concentration in water. Each has particular procedures, dependencies, and limitations which must be considered for each application in order to put the most useful measurement method into operation.

As water is an essential part of almost every facet of human endeavor and the environment in which we all dwell, the study and application of related analytics is an important component of many water based processes. The variety of compounds which can be considered contaminants or harmful elements when dissolved or contained in water presents multiple challenges for engineers and process operators.

Share your water analysis and treatment challenges with application specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey (Part 1)

industrial water quality
Water constituent analysis using instrumentation benefits
process operation
Of all the raw materials available for human consumption – aside from the air we breathe – the most vital component of life on earth is water. In addition to the global need for humans to drink water in order to survive, the use of water is essential in a myriad of industries relating to process control. Whether the goal is the production or monitoring of pure water for industrial use, or the processing of wastewater, the ability to measure the presence and level of certain chemical constituents of water is necessary for success.

In order to use water properly, industrial professionals combine state of the art analyzers with technical expertise to evaluate water quality for use or disposal. Two essential values of process control are ensuring elements of a control system are accurate and secure, and, furthermore, that they are accurate and secure for each product every time. By properly vetting water in industry, engineers and other personnel in fields such as pharmaceuticals, chemical, food & beverage, brewing, power, and microelectronics are able to maintain standards of production excellence and conform with regulatory requirements related to water quality.

The amount of dissolved oxygen present in water can correlate with the degree of movement at an air-water interface, also being impacted by pressure, temperature, and salinity. Excessive or deficient dissolved oxygen levels in industrial process waters may have an impact on process performance or end product quality. Likely, the most common application for dissolved oxygen measurement is in the evaluation of wastewater for biological oxygen demand. The primary function of dissolved oxygen in wastewater is to enable and enhance the oxidation of organic material by aerobic bacteria, a necessary step in treatment.

To measure dissolved oxygen, specialized sensors and companion instruments are employed that require careful maintenance and trained technical operators. The level of measurement precision varies depending on the industry employing the technology, with numerous applications also being found in the food & beverage and pharmaceutical industries. In-line continuous measurement is used in wastewater processing to determine if the dissolved oxygen remains in a range that supports the bacteria necessary for biodegradation.

Chloride concentration in wastewater is strictly regulated. Industrial and commercial operation effluent can be regulated with respect to allowable chloride content. While commonly found in both streams and wastewater, chlorides, in large amounts, can present challenges to water utilization or processing facilities. Chloride levels impact corrosion, conductivity, and taste (for industries in which such a variable is paramount). In a process system, having an essential component marred due to elevated quantities of a substance could reverberate into any end-product being manufactured. Chloride analyzers, some of which can also detect and monitor other water characteristics, serve as important tools for water consuming facilities to meet regulatory standards for effluent discharge or internal quality standards for recycling.

There are other constituents of what we refer to as “water” that are subject to measurement and monitoring for a range of institutional, industrial, and municipal applications. Those will be explored in the next part of this article series.

Share your water quality analytical challenges with application specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tavrida Electric Switching Module Production Line



Tavrida Electric is a global manufacturer of reclosers, indoor circuit breakers, substation breakers and draw out units for electric power distribution systems. This video provides an in-plant view of their switching module production line. Watching how a device is manufactured can often build understanding of how it works.

Tavrida Electric switching products are utilized in power distribution systems to provide safety and control over system operation. Share your power distribution requirements and challenges with application specialists, combining your own first hand knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Programmable Alarm Trip with Intrinsically-Safe (IS) Field Connections Wins Award

process controller programmable limit alarm with intrinsically safe field connections
Award winning SPA2IS
Courtesy Moore Industries
Moore Industries won the Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards for Process Safety, Intrinsic Safety category with its innovative SPA2IS programmable alarm product. The award winning product is part of the company's extensive line of process controllers, alarms, and related devices.

The SPA2IS provides a versatile range of functionality and accepts inputs that include current, voltage, RTD, thermocouple, resistance, and millivolt signals. The device features universal power input that allows operation on AC or DC sources. The intrinsically safe field connections negate the need for IS barriers, plus the integrated transmitter excitation can be used to power an intrinsically safe loop.

There is much more to learn about the Moore Industries SPA2IS. A datasheet for the unit is provided below. Share your process controller and alarm requirements and challenges with process control specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thermal Flow Measurement for Gases

thermal mass flow meters for gases insertion and in-line
Installation variants of thermal flow meters
Thermal mass flow measurement technology has been used in industrial process measurement and control applications for many years. The basic operation involves measuring flow in relation to its heat dissipating effect on a temperature sensor. Higher mass flow produces a higher rate of heat transfer.

The mass flow measurement instruments are very popular for several reasons. They have no moving parts, have a fairly unobstructed flow path, are accurate over a wide range of flow rates, calculate mass flow rather than volume, measure flow in large or small piping systems, and do not need temperature or pressure compensation. While most thermal flow meters are used to measure flowing gas, some also measure flowing liquids.

Thermal mass flow meters are cost effective and accurate making it an excellent choice for a wide variety of gas flow applications.

The technology measures the amount of heat required to maintain a sensor at a reference temperature, offsetting the cooling effect of the mass flow over the sensor. The technology is well suited for installations requiring the measurement of low pressure gases where the fluid components are known and remain constant. Thermal mass flow measurement is also employed effectively in a number of other scenarios.

Potential advantages of thermal mass flow technology for industrial process measurement and control:
  • True mass flow reading using a single instrument
  • No significant impact on measurement from fluid pressure or temperature
  • Comparative cost is moderate
  • No moving parts
  • Minimal restriction of flow introduced by sensor
Thermal mass flow sensors have attributes making them very suitable for a family of applications. Like all measurement technologies, there are also areas of caution in their application. Any measurement technology must be properly applied in order to obtain reliable results. Talk to a sales engineer about your flow measurement ideas and applications. Combining your process expertise with the knowledge of a product application specialist will produce good results.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Application of Thermo Fisher Density and Level Instruments



The video, produced by Thermo Fisher Scientific, shows how an integration of flow, level, and density measurements is used to regulate the feed and operation of a coke production system. The integration of several instruments and technologies serves to provide operators with a continuous stream of accurate information about the product level, foam interface, and material content at various points in the drums. Closely monitoring the process enables best use of available drum space and control of the process.

Determining and applying the most effective measurement technology for any process is a key element of achieving optimum output. Share your measurement challenges with instrumentation specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Multiple Generator Condition Monitoring Functions in a Customized Unit

gas cooled generator monitoring unit
Multi-parameter generator monitor
Courtesy E/One Utility Systems
Electric power generation involves enormous investment in fixed equipment operating at conditions requiring precision control of many variables. The availability of accurate real-time generator monitoring information can be the key element in maintaining precision equipment in good operating condition and avoiding downtime caused by failure.

E/One Utility Systems designs and manufactures a generator monitoring system combining multiple functions into a consolidated unit, fully engineered and coordinated for each application. Each customer can choose to incorporate functions as needed for their installation.
  • Generator Auxiliary System
  • Generator Gas Analyzer
  • Generator Condition Monitor
  • Generator Gas Dryer
  • Auxiliary Systems
This flexible and cost efficient approach to gas monitoring and control systems for electric power generators capitalizes on the use of pre-engineered modules to reduce installation and on-site engineering burden.

More information is provided in the document below. Share your power generator monitoring and control challenges with product specialists and work together to develop effective solutions.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Standalone Process Temperature Controllers

industrial process controllers 1/4 DIN 1/8 DIN 1/16 DIN
Industrial process controllers can be applied to temperature
or other control parameters.
Courtesy Chino
The regulation of temperature is a common operation throughout many facets of modern life. Environmental control in commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings, even residential spaces, uses the regulation of temperature as the primary measure of successful operation. There are also countless applications for the control of temperature found throughout manufacturing, processing, and research. Everywhere that temperature needs to be regulated, a device or method is needed that will control the delivery of a heating or cooling means.

For industrial process applications, the temperature control function is found in two basic forms. It can reside as an operational feature within a programmable logic controller or other centralized process control device or system. Another form is a standalone process temperature controller, with self-contained input, output, processing, and user interface. A temperature switch could be considered as a rudimentary, yet very effective standalone temperature controller. Depending upon the needs of the application, one may have an advantage over the other. The evolution of both forms, integrated and standalone, has resulted in each offering consistently greater levels of functionality.

There are two basic means of temperature control, regardless of the actual device used. Open loop control delivers a predetermined amount of output action without regard to the process condition. Its simplicity makes open loop control economical. Best applications for this type of control action are processes that are well understood and that can tolerate a potentially wide variation in temperature. A change in the process condition will not be detected, or responded to, by open loop control. The second temperature control method, and the one most employed for industrial process control, is closed loop.

Closed loop control relies on an input that represents the process condition, an algorithm or internal mechanical means to produce an output action related to the process condition, and some type of output device that delivers the output action. Closed loop controllers require less process knowledge on the part of the operator than open loop to regulate temperature. The controllers rely on the internal processing and comparison of input (process temperature) to a setpoint value. The difference between the two is the deviation or error. Generally, a greater error will produce a greater change in the output of the controller, delivering more heating or cooling to the process and driving the process temperature toward the setpoint.

The current product offering for standalone closed loop temperature controllers ranges from very simple on/off regulators to highly developed products with multiple inputs and outputs, as well as many auxiliary functions and communications. The range of product features almost assures a unit is available for every application. Evaluating the staggering range of products available and producing a good match between process requirements and product capabilities can be facilitated by reaching out to a process control products specialist. Combine your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solution options.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Continuous On-Line Conductivity Monitoring for Water-Steam Cycle

continuous conductivity monitor for condensate, ion exchange, feedwater, steam
Continuous conductivity
monitoring system
Courtesy Swan AnalyticalInstruments
Specific conductivity measurements of water used in industrial processes can reveal important information about the water quality and its suitability for a particular use. Condensate and feedwater, as well as other process uses of water, routinely use specific conductivity measurement to confirm or analyze process performance.

Continuous conductivity measurement that delivers real time data is the most beneficial setup for monitoring water quality. The instrumentation will be an integral part of a larger control and monitoring system, so a variety of selectable output signals is advantageous. Programmable function relays that can respond when certain conditions occur provide the operator with additional automatic response options for coordinating other operations or alerting when conditions are out of a desired range.

Processing operations will benefit from products that minimize the amount of user time required to keep instrumentation in operation. Whether calibration, repair, adjustment, or required maintenance, any instrument that reduces the amount of "customer involvement" is worth considering.

The AMI CACE from Swan Analytical Instruments is a continuous on-line conductivity monitor targeted at water-steam cycle applications. It incorporates a host of technological and user friendly features that make it an advantageous choice for feedwater and condensate monitoring. Detail is provided by the datasheet included below. Share all your analytical and steam system monitoring requirements and challenges with instrumentation specialists. The combination of your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise will yield an effective solution.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gas Density Meter Provides Continuous Inline Density Monitoring

gas density meter product configurations
Gas Density Meters
Courtesy Thermo Scientific
Gas density measurement is crucial when looking at the molecular makeup of a sample, when quantifying variables which make up a whole. Custody transfer operations and other fiscally related operations can also require gas density measurement to properly determine delivered gas quantities. The Thermo Fisher Sarasota gas density instruments are specifically designed to deliver high accuracy continuous inline measurement of density and density related variables. Employed in large scale processing, gas density measurement is often found in the gas, chemical, and petrochemical industries, along with power generation operations.

Thermo Scientific’s Sarasota line of gas density instruments provide a measurement that can, with the use of auxiliary flow computers or other electronics from the company or third party vendors, provide additional data for specific gravity, calorific value, or molecular weight. Three basic meter styles provide for direct insertion, bypass, or pocket mounting arrangements. Two versions of each type are offered, with the first providing a frequency output and 4-wire PT 100 temperature sensor output for use by a flow converter or other computational device. The second version has an onboard HART compliant density converter with 4-20 mA output.

As the measured gas flows through the meter, it interferes with the base frequency of the vibrating sensor tube in proportion to the density of the gas. The instrument measures the change in vibration frequency, which is used to calculate the density. The onboard precision RTD provides for temperature compensation. Other features include:
  • Readings unaffected by pressure
  • Available for use in hazardous environments
  • Third party certifications
  • Connection options
  • Wide temperature range operation
  • Interfaces with Thermo Fisher flow computers, or other brands
  • Continuous online density monitoring
There are numerous industrial applications for the density meters, including energy management, flue gas analysis, custody transfer, burner control, stack emissions analysis, process and quality control, and more. A specialized retractor enables removal of the direct insertion gas density meter from the piping system under operating conditions up to 2500 psi.

Variants of the instrument accommodate a wide range of application and installation requirements. More detail is provided in the datasheet included below. Share your gas density and other process measurement requirements and challenges with product application experts. The combination of your process knowledge and their product application expertise will produce effective solutions.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Functional Safety Transmitter - Frequency to DC

functional safety transmitter frequency to DC
The SFY Functionnal Safety Transmitter
Courtesy Moore Industries
Populating a safety instrumented system with properly configured and rated devices can be challenging. Moore Industries has released a transmitter providing frequency input to DC signal output that carries approvals for use in SIL2 and SIL3 instances.

The SFY model converts the frequency pulse output of another device into a 4-20 mA output signal for use in logic solvers and control equipment. The instrument carries a host of certifications and approvals, making it suitable for use across many industries and jurisdictions.

The datasheet below provides more detail about this recently released transmitter for industrial process control. Share your process measurement and control requirements and challenges with product application specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Video Shows Mounting Options for Pressure Transmitter

differential pressure transmitter for industrial process control
Differential Pressure Transmitter
This short video illustrates the ease with which numerous mounting configurations of DPharp transmitters can be accomplished in new and existing operations. The DPharp line of pressure transmitters utilize Yokogawa's top flight digital sensing technology for accurate process measurement of pressure and differential pressure in a multitude of applications.

Share your process measurement challenges with application experts, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Case Study and Re-Enactment of Chemical Plant Explosion

shell and tube heat exchangers
Shell and tube heat exchangers
Industrial accidents, whether minor or catastrophic, can serve as sources of learning when analyzed and studied. Operators, owners, and technicians involved with industrial chemical operations have a degree of moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to conduct work in a reasonably and predictably safe manner without endangering personnel, property, or the environment. Part of a diligent safety culture should include reviewing industrial accidents at other facilities. There is much to learn from these unfortunate events, even when they happen in an industry that may seem somewhat removed from our own.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, or CSB, is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. Below, find one of their video reenactments and analysis of an explosion that occurred at a Louisiana chemical processing plant in 2013. A portion of the reenactment shows how a few seemingly innocuous oversights can combine with other unrecognized conditions that result in a major conflagration.

Check out the video and sharpen your senses to evaluate potential trouble spots in your own operation.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Optical Spectroscopy Delivers Real Time Direct Process Monitoring

optical spectoscopy continuous process analyzer
Reveal optical spectroscopy continuous process analyzer
Courtesy Prozess Technologie
Measurement and monitoring of process conditions is an essential part of producing the desired output. Some operations require, or can benefit from, faster or more accurate measurement of process variables. This can be especially true for chemical processes that rely on accurate mixing of components.

Process analyzers are available in a wide variety of technologies, configurations, performance ranges, and price points. Selecting the best analyzer for a particular process, take into consideration these points.
  • Technology - Assess whether the technology is cabable of producing the results needed
  • Accuracy - Measurement at levels appropriate for the process and operating goals
  • Specificity - Ability to reliably measure the subject components
  • First cost
  • Continuing costs of maintenance, expendables, calibration
  • Ease of use and integration into overall process measurement and control scheme
  • Reliability
One manufacturer, Prozess Technologie, approaches process analysis with their Reveal optical spectroscopy analyzer. It is capable of operating continuously without ongoing operator interaction. Internal calibration software provides stability and reliability. The software suite for the instrument is compliant with numerous standards and a host of communication standards are supported to allow for easy integration into a process measurement and control system.

Pick up more detail about the Reveal unit below. Share your analytical process challenges with a product application specialist. Combining your process knowledge with their product expertise will produce effective solutions.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Industrial Wireless Equipment Offers Installation Ease and Flexibility

industrial wireless modems for Ethernet and cellular
Wireless modems for Ethernet and cellular
connections
Courtesy Eaton - ELPRO
Industrial process measurement and control has been expanding its deployment of wireless connectivity for years. The technology has not been considered new for quite some time. The advantages of a wireless installation can be substantial.
  • Safety: Wireless connections can reduce personnel exposure to hazardous environments or situations that previously required human intervention or a manual gauge or instrument reading.
  • Easy Scale-up: Adding points on a network is generally a simple incremental process.
  • Operational Advantage: When deployed to replace manual instrument or gauge readings, real time data for diagnostics and efficiency measurements are now available. Information that is more accurate, timely, and consistent will produce better results.
  • Installation Savings: Installation of wireless connected assets has been reported to be up to 10 times less expensive than wired installation. The reduced space and planning for cables and conduit can make what were once complex and time consuming operations much quicker and easier.
  • Mobility: Wireless technology allows for real time connections to mobile platforms. Whether within a plant, on the road, or on the high seas, there are wireless products that can make the connection.
  • Distance: Don't just think WiFi, think radio, think satellite, think cellular. Connections can be established across very long distances using standard products from the industry.
  • Conversion of Legacy Devices: Many existing in-place devices can have their wired connections replaced with a wireless version. This accommodates a staged transition from wired to wireless in facility.
Eaton's ELPRO brand provides a full line of wireless connectivity products. A data sheet illustrating the various products is below.

There is more the learn about the ELPRO product line and how it can establish wireless connectivity in your operation. Share your industrial networking requirements and challenges with a product specialist, combining your facilities and project knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Instrument Enclosure for Rail Mounted Devices Provides Visual Access

process instrumentation enclosure clear cover DIN Rail Mount
The R-Box is designed to house
DIN rail mounted devices
Courtesy Moore Industries
Industrial sites and operations can present challenging conditions to the longevity of instrumentation and other control or measurement devices. Additionally, for a number of reasons, it may be good practice to restrict access to those same devices.

Moore Industries delivers a solution for housing DIN rail mounted devices in a protective enclosure that permits full front panel viewing of the enclosed instrument while providing protection from impact and environmental elements that can prematurely wear instruments and equipment. The locking enclosure permits physical access only to authorized individuals.

Dubbed the "R-Box", the powder coated aluminum enclosure is available in stock widths from 3" to 12" and made to order sizes beyond. Three instrument mounting styles are available, as are three different enclosure mounting arrangements.

There is more to learn about the versatile R-Box enclosure from Moore Industries. A data sheet is provided below, or you can reach out to a Moore product specialist with your requirements and challenges and work together to develop an effective product solution.